Protect Your Valuables: How to Create a Data Back-Up Plan

By Robert Siciliano

Your business should be taking preventative measures to protect its data and information. Here are the things to consider.

It really boggles my mind when people who rely on their computers will contact a client and ask, "my computer crashed; can you send me the files, again?"

Wait!? What??

When you are in the boxing ring and focus on the big knockout, you could easily be taken down with a couple of quick, sharp jabs.

Unfortunately, some businesses do this when approaching security. In other words, when you put too much emphasis on preventing a huge breach of data, you may be allowing small threats in.

Related Article: More Info, More Problems: Privacy and Security Issues in the Age of Big Data

These small threats may not seem dangerous, but they can knock out all your data.

So why aren't these people backing up the data on their machines? If you use your computer for business, it is imperative that you back up data in real time or once an hour or at least once a day to protect yourself from:

  • Computer hacking
  • Accidental data deletion
  • Fire/water damage
  • Physical theft
  • Hard drive crashing

Planning for Data Threats

Most company leaders are not psychic, and they cannot anticipate every threat. Since this is the case, here are some tips to plan for this possibility:

  • Gear up for threats such as crimes and natural disasters. This includes having an insurance plan, conducting training and using protection such as fire extinguishers and smoke detectors.
  • Make a list of all possible threats that come to mind.
  • Have a backup location for your business should your current location become inaccessible.
  • Create a team to handle disasters, and then have a second team that can function if members of the first time cannot.
  • Make a post-disaster communication plan for customers, employees and vendors. Always have a list of vendors that can serve as a backup.
  • Create a plan that is flexible, not rigid, and update it as appropriate.
  • Back up all data on a cloud and onsite. Services like Carbonite back up your data redundantly for up to 90 days saving multiple versions of your files. This enables businesses to recover files quickly allowing them to get back on their feet.
  • Back up locally. To make a daily backup quick and easy, browse through all of your old files, get rid of ones you do not need, and then organize the remaining ones. Use a type of sync software that allows for routine backups to save on multiple drives. See Goodsync. 
  • Replace all computers every two to three years. Replace them earlier if there are symptoms of failure such as a blue screen or if it takes a long time to boot up.

Protecting the data on your computer begins with keeping the machine in a locked and secure location, but this is only one way to protect it. It is also very important to use anti-malware software to protect yourself from hackers.

Related Article: Study Shows Small Businesses Are Doubling Profits by Switching to Cloud Computing

Other Tips for Small Companies

Here are a couple of tips to help with keeping your small business computers as safe as possible.

Investigate RAID drive setup. Defined as: redundant array of independent disks is a data storage virtualization technology that combines multiple physical disk drive components into a single logical unit for the purposes of data redundancy

For instance, make it a priority to de-clutter your digital files, which will not only help your computers run faster, it will help each daily backup run quickly. It is also important to sift through the programs on the computer and delete any that you do not use.

Make sure to clean up your disk drives often, too. If you have a Windows computer, you can find the Disk Cleanup tool under the Control Panel.

Speaking of the Control Panel, go to the "Hardware and Sound" section, choose "Power Options," and then use the "balanced" power setting. This will help to keep the hard drive in good shape. Also, reinstall your operating system every two to three years.

By preparing for and preventing attacks to the best of your ability, you will be helping your business, employees, vendors and customers. Taking these steps now will be a big help in the future.  

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